Lip sync battle cancelled, students disappointed

One of the groups from the 2016 Homecoming Lip Syncing competition perfoming in Gampel Pavilon.  (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

One of the groups from the 2016 Homecoming Lip Syncing competition perfoming in Gampel Pavilon.  (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

The annual Lip Sync Battle has been cancelled this year due to the lack of adequate time to prepare for the event, leaving some students saddened.

“I’m definitely disappointed. But we did everything we could, and we held the students’ interests at heart every step of the way,” the SUBOG Major Weekends Committee Chair Addie Lotito, said.  

The Lip Sync Battle is a long-standing tradition at the University of Connecticut in which student organizations compete with each other in high-energy lip-synced performances.

Due to recently-completed construction on the Gampel Pavilion ceiling, Lotito said SUBOG had to search for alternative locations to host the event as they were told Gampel would be unavailable.

“There were points when I was thinking ‘this isn’t going to be easy’ but I don’t think at any point I was thinking ‘I’m going to have to email them and tell them it’s cancelled.’ I was confident we would find a solution,” Lotito said.

Lotito said she first looked at on-campus options, all of which proved to be unviable. SUBOG eventually settled on holding the event at the Bushnell center in Hartford which has a capacity that is approximately 6,000 less than Gampel Pavilion. Lotito said SUBOG would have arranged for buses to take students to the venue for free.

The off-campus location of the event was not solidified until about a month ago, Lotito said. Lotito said the cultural centers then told her that, due to the uncertain status of the event conveyed through Lotito’s communications over the summer, they did not feel they had ample time to prepare

“I think it was more of a perceived time crunch than anything else but (that is) just as justifiable in their minds,” Lotito said. “I don’t know if they took (the fact that the event would be held regardless of the construction) as seriously as I hoped they would.”

After communicating with other organizations, Lotito determined that it would not be in keeping with the spirit of the event to hold it without the cultural centers and that she feels SUBOG made the right decision.

“We didn’t feel it would be appropriate in any way to hold an event when the cultural centers weren’t interested in participating or felt they had time to participate,” Lotito said. “We didn’t feel that showed what we wanted homecoming to show (which is) inclusivity.”

Jocelyn Travis, a senior communications and English double major, who participated in the Lip Sync Battle last year said she was disappointed the event had to be cancelled.

“I’m pretty bummed. I was looking forward to experiencing the process all over again,” Travis said. “Homecoming won’t be the same without it.”

Lotito said the importance of Lip Sync to students motivated her to work as hard as she did to find a way to hold the event.  

“I pushed so hard to find a solution instead of just giving up in April (because) I just felt like it was more important to the students than the other events, and it was worth the extra effort,” Lotito said.

Travis said even though the event would have been off campus, she still would have participated.

“It would have made it harder to plan out for convenience’s sake…but nonetheless, I still would have liked to participate,” Travis said.

Last year, Student Diversity Officer Joelle Murchison encouraged students who participate in cultural centers to take part in homecoming under the names of student organizations within the cultural centers. Lotito said this did not impact Lip Sync being cancelled.

“Student organizations affiliated with the cultural centers were welcome to participate in all aspects of homecoming as they had previously, and that nothing had changed regarding use of cultural center space and funding,” Director of Student Activities Christine Wilson said.

Lotito said she has “high hopes” for Lip Sync to be back in full swing for homecoming next year.


Anna Zarra Aldrich is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at anna.aldrich@uconn.edu. She tweets @ZarraAnna.